Public and Private Colleges in Georgia
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) counts 202 colleges, universities, technical schools, career academies and other postsecondary institutions in Georgia. Here's a breakdown of degree-granting schools in Georgia, by type:
Colleges that take less than two years to complete are also well represented among Georgia educational institutions. Programs in this category primarily provide career training to students with specific professional ambitions and typically culminate in a certificate instead of a degree. The majority of the institutions that fit this description are beauty schools, barber colleges, technical institutes and non-accredited business schools.
According to a 2014 NCES report, federal financial aid-eligible colleges and universities in Georgia granted 133,185 degrees and certificates to 119,469 graduating students in 2011-12. Among those students, 64 percent earned their degrees at four-year institutions and 32 percent earned two-year degrees. The remaining 4 percent, a total of 4,751 graduates, earned certificates from less-than-two-year institutions.
Here are some total student enrollment numbers collected from the major public universities in Georgia, current as of Spring 2013:
Total Spring 2013 enrollment in the Georgia State University system was reported as 295,408, with 10 percent of those students, or approximately 30,000, enrolled part time.
Online Colleges in Georgia
Steady growth in the availability of online courses and degree programs at Georgia's institutions of higher learning has provided an enhanced set of options for aspiring students. The ability to take in class lectures on one's own time and earn a continued education for less overall cost than at a traditional university is changing the game for a significant portion of the would-be student population.
Multiple colleges and universities in Georgia have been recognized by national ranking agencies for certain programs in their online catalog. Here are a few of the well-regarded online degrees offered by Georgia colleges and universities, alongside their national rank as calculated by U.S. News and World Report:
- University of Georgia
- Best Online Graduate Education Programs (2015): No. 22
- Georgia State University
- Best Online Graduate Education Programs (2015): No. 31
- University of West Georgia
- Best Online Graduate Business Programs (2015): No. 4
- Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs (2015): No. 12
- Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs (2015): No. 48
- Best Online Bachelor's Programs (2015): No. 69
- Best Online Graduate Education Programs (2015): No. 89
- Georgia Southern University
- Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs (2015): No. 23
- Best Online Graduate Education Programs (2015): No. 50
- Best Online Graduate Business Programs (2015): No. 64
- Best Online Bachelor's Programs (2015): No. 160
- Brenau University
- Best Online Graduate Business Programs (2015): No. 95
- Best Online Graduate Education Programs (2015): No. 107
- Best Online Bachelor's Programs
- Kennesaw State University
- Best Online Graduate Business Programs (2015): No. 64
- Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs (2015)
Not all types of program are ranked by U.S. News and World Report, and many more online degrees than those above can be earned at colleges and universities in Georgia. Georgia Tech, for example, offers online master's degree programs in highly technical disciplines like aerospace engineering, industrial engineering, medical physics and more.
Top Jobs and Careers in Georgia
Here's a table of some of the top careers in Georgia along with information about each and some degrees that can help job candidates in each field stand out from the pack:
Why it's hot
Elementary School Teachers
Densest concentration in Atlanta but opportunity is statewide
An occupational outlook report by the Georgia Department of Labor (DOL) indicates elementary school teacher employment in 2018 is projected to be 32 percent higher than it was in 2008. Expectations of increased student enrollment in the region should drive are a likely driver of growth in the field. School districts with the most room in their budgets are expected to lead the hiring push.
Group speaking, active listening, materials organization, instructional design, social perceptiveness, subject proficiency, empathy, conflict mediation, written and oral comprehension, decision making
Most elementary schools expect teacher candidates to have at least a bachelor's degree. In some states, the degree must be in the subject area one is looking to teach, meaning aspiring chemistry teachers would need a degree in chemistry, for example. An early childhood education degree or K-12 education degree may be acceptable in many states as well.
Home Health Aides
Home health aide jobs are among the fastest-growing careers in the country, according to sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS shows national job growth projection of 48 percent for home health aides, leading to more than 424,000 new positions nationwide, while the Georgia DOL indicates an even faster statewide growth rate of 65.5 percent.
Active listening, time management, oral communication, empathy, medical terminology, technical familiarity with medical devices, situational awareness, memory, physical health, psychology
While home health aide jobs don't typically come with formal education requirements, a degree in health and medical science can ensure that you have the skills you need to provide effective care to your clients. Home health aides who want to go deeper into the health care field can pursue LPN/LVN training or a medical assisting degree.
Management analysts are trained to provide companies with the valuable service of discovering ways that costs can be cut or efficiency increased. Growing demand for management analysts is expected to lead to a 19 percent increase in job opportunities nationwide, according to the BLS, and a data sheet produced by the Georgia Department of Workforce Information and Analysis indicates more than 10,000 new positions expected in the state between 2008 and 2018.
Critical thinking, problem solving, performance monitoring and assessment, systems analysis, deductive reasoning, business administration, project management, human resource principles
Management analysts need at least a bachelor's degree to be considered seriously by employers, and some employers may prefer candidates with a business administration degree. Candidates may also continue their business education to the master's level and earn an MBA degree or test for one of several professional certifications offered by the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI).
Atlanta, Columbus, Augusta
The needs of an aging population are expected to contribute to the astronomical increases in employment among medical assistants and other health care professions. The Georgia DOL indicates expected medical assistant job growth of about 46 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is more than four times faster than the average nationwide rate across all occupations.
Medical technology, health care terminology, office administration, electronic recordkeeping, attention to detail, clinical hygiene, sanitary sampling and testing practices, public safety
Candidates who apply for their positions having already earned a medical assisting degree are likely to be preferred by many employers. Many facilities that hire medical assistants also provide on-the-job training, but the solid foundation of fundamental knowledge learnt in medical assistant career training can be a big plus.
Computer Systems Analysts
Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Marietta
The Georgia DOL projected a 50 percent job growth rate for network systems and data communications analysts back in 2008, and the 2013 BLS figures seem to bear that out. Nearly 128,000 new systems analyst jobs are expected to open nationwide between 2012 and 2022, and most of that growth is likely to occur in the area around modern urban environments like Atlanta.
Systems analysis and evaluation, computer programming, computer network architecture, mathematics, critical thinking, complex problem solving, troubleshooting, inductive reasoning
Employers tend to focus more on a candidate's skills and work history than on the primary subject of their education, but earning a degree in computer science can give you an edge at some companies. Systems analysts often communicate closely with managers and executives, so tech-savvy candidates with a business degree may be preferred by some employers.
While no particular degree can guarantee a job after graduation, targeting education to the career of one's choice can help eliminate some of the uncertainty that new grads typically face when entering the workforce.
Georgia Financial Aid Information
College tuition varies depending on factors like major and choice of public or private institution, but costs are on the rise everywhere. A 2014 report published by the College Board shows just how much the average cost of college has changed between 2004 and 2014.
Here's a list of average tuition figures at colleges and universities in Georgia, to give an idea of the overall upward trend in the cost of an education:
Most students who enroll at colleges and universities in Georgia will be asked to fill out the Federal Application for Student Aid, or FAFSA, very early in their student career. The information recorded on your FAFSA is used by potential sources of student aid in the state and federal level to determine student eligibility and financial need.
Students at Georgia colleges and universities can turn to the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC), the Georgia Student Finance Authority (GSFA) and Georgia Higher Education Assistance Corporation (GHEAC) for information about state-specific grants, scholarships and low-interest loans. Some loans available through the GSFA may not even require repayment, if certain conditions are met after graduation.
Some aid packages offered by the state-specific organizations pull the bulk of their required information from the FAFSA, but students should check with the individual agencies to see if any additional eligibility requirements must be met.
To find out more about some of the schools and programs available in Georgia, be sure to check out the ones featured in our school listings below.
- Georgia, College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=GA
- Postsecondary Completers and Completions: 2011-12, Web Tables, U.S. Department of Education, March 2014, http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2014/2014033.pdf
- Semester Enrollment Report, Spring 2013, University System of Georgia, http://www.usg.edu/research/documents/enrollment_reports/semester_enrollment_report_spring_2013.pdf
- Georgia, May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ga.htm
- U.S. News and World Report: "Georgia Regents University," http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/georgia-regents-university-140401, "University of Georgia, Online Programs," http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/university-of-georgia-139959, "Georgia State University, Online Programs," http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/georgia-state-university-139940, "University of West Georgia," http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/university-of-west-georgia-141334, "Georgia Southern University, Online Programs," http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/georgia-southern-university-139931, "Brenau University," http://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/brenau-university-139199
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-2015 Edition: "Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers," http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Education-Training-and-Library/Kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm, "Management Analysts," www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Management-analysts.htm, "Computer Systems Analysts," www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-systems-analysts.htm, "Home Health Aides," http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home-health-aides.htm, "Medical Assistants," www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Medical-assistants.htm
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013: "Home Health Aides," "Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers," http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252021.htm, "Management Analysts," http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes131111.htm, "Computer Systems Analysts," http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151121.htm, "Medical Assistants," http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319092.htm
- O*Net OnLine Occupational Information Network: "Elementary School Teachers," http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/25-2021.00, "Management Analysts," http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1111.00, "Computer Systems Analysts," http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1121.00, "Home Health Aides," http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/31-1011.00, "Medical Assistants," http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/31-9092.00
- Online Master's Degrees Via Distance Learning, Georgia Tech University, http://www.dlpe.gatech.edu/dl/
- Online Programs, Georgia Southern University, http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/online/
- Online Programs, Kennesaw State University, http://learnonline.kennesaw.edu/programs/programs.php
- Occupational Outlooks, Georgia Labor Market Explorer, Georgia Department of Labor, http://explorer.dol.state.ga.us/mis/occupation.htm
- The International Council of Management Consulting Institutes, http://www.icmci.org/home
- Medical Assistants: Georgia, State and National Trends, Occupational Information Network, http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=001000000&jobfam=31&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=319092&menuMode=&stfips=06&x=49&y=17
- Tuition and Fees by Sector and State over Time, Trends in Higher Education, The College Board, http://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-and-fees-sector-and-state-over-time
- Who We Are, Georgia Student Finance Commission, http://www.gsfc.org/gsfcnew/about.cfm
- Other Georgia Specific Financial Aid Programs, GAcollege411, https://secure.gacollege411.org/Financial_Aid_Planning/Financial_Aid_101/Other_GA_Specific_Financial_Aid_Programs.aspx